Thursday, August 26, 2010

Brahmas re-sign Gale

Second year forward led all Brahmas rookies in 2009-10

The Texas Brahmas announced the re-signing of second year forward A.J. Gale for the 2010-11 campaign on Thursday afternoon.

Last season, Gale led all Brahmas rookies in scoring and ranked eighth in the league with 25 points (15 G, 10 A, -2) and 36 penalty minutes in 58 games. He added three points (1 G, 2 A, +2) and 4 PIM in seven post-season contests.

Brahmas Head Coach Dan Wildfong looks forward to the impact Gale could bring in his second year with Texas.

"It’s great to have a player like A.J. return; a young player who knows our system. We look forward to what he will bring to the ice this season," Wildfong said.

The 5’ 11”, 185 pound winger from Lantzville, British Columbia played for the St. Norbert College Green Knights in 2008-09. He led the team in scoring with 30 points (19 G, 11 A) in 19 games played and was named an NCAA Division III All-American by the American Hockey Coaches Association. The Green Knights made it to the NCHA Semifinals before falling to the UW-Superior Yellowjackets.

He had his best statistical season in 2007-08, notching 53 points (27 G, 26 A) and 46 penalty minutes in just 38 games played. The Clippers were the Coastal Conference regular season champions and were also the BCHL regular season winners with the best record at 88 points. The Clippers advanced to the Fred Page Cup Finals, only to lose to the Penticton Vees, 4-0. Gale was the leading scorer during the playoffs, tallying 26 points (8 G, 18 A) and 13 penalty minutes in 14 games played.

Gale played 18 games for St. Cloud State (NCAA) during the 2006-07 season but saw limited ice time in his freshman season, tallying just two points (1 G, 1 A). After two games with the Huskies in 2007-08, he made the decision to return to the Clippers who had won the 2007 BCHL Championship.

Gale played four seasons of junior hockey with the Nanaimo Clippers (BCHL). He joined the team late in the 2003-2004 campaign and helped Nanaimo win its first BCHL title in 26 seasons. During his time there, he tallied 151 points (77 G, 74 A) and 170 penalty minutes in 162 games played.

Photo Credits: Robert Keith

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Brahmas ink Hogeboom

Former Ontario Reign center brings experience, scoring threat to Texas

The Texas Brahmas announced on Friday that center Greg Hogeboom has signed on the for the 2010-11 season.

Hogeboom, 27, will enter his seventh pro season in October. Brahmas Head Coach Dan Wildfong believes Hogeboom will fit nicely in the Brahmas system.

"Greg is a player who has proven to have offensive skill, but aside from his play on the puck, he is the type of forward who can be held accountable on both sides of the ice," Wildfong said.

Last season, Hogeboom tallied 59 points (32 G, 27 A, +5) and 48 penalty minutes in 72 games played with the Ontario Reign (ECHL). The 6', 190-pound native of Etobicoke, Ontario had three hat tricks and led the Reign in goals and points scored. He was also selected as a member of the National Conference in the 2010 ECHL All-Star Game (the National Conference won 10-9).

A qualifying offer was made to Hogeboom by the Reign, who retain his ECHL rights for the 2010-11 season.
But in an interview with J.P. Hoornstra who publishes the Where the Reign Reigns blog, Hogeboom explained his decision to sign in the CHL.

"I talked to the coach there (Dan Wildfong) a couple weeks after the season. He offered me a player/assistant coaching job," Hogeboom said. "I kind of just, mainly, made a money decision. I could get paid year-round, get paid a little bit more with that. I got a few offers from European clubs, but me and my wife decided to stick it out here for one more year, enjoy a different change of scenery."

Hogeboom played four seasons with the University of Miami (Ohio) Redhawks (NCAA) from 2000-2004, putting up 120 points (65 G, 55 A) and 74 penalty minutes in 156 regular season games played. He was selected by the Los Angeles Kings in the fifth round (#152 overall) in the 2002 NHL Entry draft and played in three games with the Manchester Monarchs (AHL) at the end of the 2003-04 season.

In 2004-05, Hogeboom played just 14 games with the Monarchs due to injuries (separated shoulder, torn carpal ligament).

The following season was split between the Monarchs and the Reading Royals (ECHL). In 42 games with the Monarchs, he scored 19 points (9 G, 10 A) and 18 PIM. In 19 games with the Royals, he tallied 27 points (9 G, 18 A) and 4 PIM.

The 2006-07 season was also split between the Monarchs and the Royals. In 15 games with the Monarchs, he had an assist and six penalty minutes. In 54 games with the Royals, he exploded with a then career-best 74 points (30 G, 44 A) and 43 PIM.

In 2007-08, Hogeboom opted to cross the pond and played the next two seasons in the Swiss National League B. With EHC Visp, put forth a career-high 76 points (39 G, 37 A) and 68 penalty minutes in 49 games played. He added six points (4 G, 2 A) and 31 PIM in seven post-season contests. In 2008-09 with HC Thurgau, he tallied 36 points (18 G, 18 A) and 36 PIM in 40 games played. He added three points (2 G, 1 A) and 4 PIM in six post-season contests.

had 36 points (18 G, 18 A) in 40 games as a member with Hogeboom played two seasons in Switzerland with Visp and Thurgau. With the Visp in 2007-08, the Etobicoke, ONT native had 76 points (39 G, 37 A) in 49 games. The following year HogeboomThurgau.

Here are a couple of short videos of Hogeboom during his time in Switzerland, courtesy of YouTube.

Photo Credits: top/; bottom/rich'
Burto heading for France

Former Brahma signs with Evry les Peaux-Rouges

We’ve heard a little about this around NYTEX over the last few weeks...I’ve finally confirmed that former Brahmas forward Matt Burto has signed with Evry les Peaux-Rouges in the French Ice Hockey Federation Division 2 (the second highest level of professional ice hockey in France).

Burto, 26, played two seasons with the Brahmas. He tallied 38 points (15 G, 23 A, +2) and 149 penalty minutes in 110 games played and added two assists and 10 PIM in 21 post-season contests.

He wasn't a big scorer, but Burto was certainly a fan favorite for his hard work on and off the ice. He developed into a good two-way forward from his rookie season through his second year and had the heart of a true Brahma. He'll definitely be missed.

Can’t tell you much about Burto's new team or the league due to the difficulty in translating the French websites, but here’s some basic info from Wikipedia:

FFHG Division 2 consists of 20 teams divided into two pools with ten teams each. Evry lesPeaux-Rouges sits in the Northern pool. Each team plays the other teams in their pool at home and away (18 games). At the end of this regular season the 8 highest ranking teams in each pool enter a combined knock-out play-off series while the four lowest ranking teams (two from each pool) enter a play-off series of their own. The winner of the former play-off series is promoted to FFHG Division 1 while the loser of the latter play-off series is demoted to FFHG Division 3.

Burto married longtime girlfriend Lauren Nuland on July 31st in Newport, Rhode Island.

Photo Credit: Robert Keith

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Pete Rouleau accepts coaching position

Former Brahmas forward moves from hockey to golf as Finlandia University's 1st women's golf coach

Former Texas Brahma forward Pete Rouleau has been named Finlandia University's first women’s golf coach, according to Finlandia athletics director Chris Salani.

Rouleau played four years of golf at Hancock (Mich.) Central High School. As a junior and senior, he was a vital member of the Bulldogs' team that won consecutive Upper Peninsula High School Golf Championships in 2000-2001 and 2001-2002. He was recently the runner-up in the 2009 Portage Lake Club Championship and is currently a youth golf instructor there. Rouleau has been teaching lessons to kids in three different age groups at Portage Lake for the past five years.

Rouleau played one season of NCAA Division III hockey at Finlandia in 2003-04 and then three seasons at Michigan Tech (NCAA). He was teammate of Tyler Skworchinski for two seasons.

After Tech's 2007-08 season ended, Rouleau played one game with the Idaho Steelheads and six games with the Pensacola Ice Pilots (ECHL).

Rouleau joined the Texas Brahmas for the 2008-09 campaign which culminated in the Ray Miron President's Cup Championship win. In 52 games played, he tallied 36 points (13 G, 23 A) and 18 penalty minutes. He added nine points (4 G, 5 A) and 10 PIM in 14 post-season contests.

In 2009-10, Rouleau played eight games with the Brahmas before being placed on waivers. He played 28 games with the Port Huron IceHawks (IHL) to finish out the season.

Rouleau currently resides in Hancock with wife Maren and his 18-month-old daughter, Kaelyn.

Invitational in The Finlandia women’s golf team will begin their inaugural season this Fall at the BlugoldEau Claire, Wisconsin on September 4th.

Photo Credit: Robert Keith
Kevin Beech says he’s joining the Brahmas

Former NHL draft pick ready to defend the NYTEX net

According to an article posted today on, Kevin Beech has confirmed that he will be joining the Texas Brahmas for the coming season.

Beech, 23, was the 2008-09 CHL Goaltender of the Year and a member of the All-CHL Team after starting 50 games with the Mississippi RiverKings. He finished the regular season with a 35-12-3-3 record, a 2.44 GAA and a .906 save percentage. He was first in the league in minutes played (3025:11) and wins (35).

Last season, he was forced to limit his activities after a necessary off-season hip surgery to remove cartilage buildup. He began the season on the 30-day IR and was finally activated on December 4th. His first start, against the Missouri Mavericks two days later, was a 4-2 victory with Beech stopping 18 of 20 shots faced.

He went 6-3-2 with the RiverKings before he was traded to Corpus Christi on January 30th for future considerations.

“I played 12 games in Mississippi coming back from injury and I could tell there was a bit of a rust factor there,” Beech said. “I was letting in goals I wouldn’t normally have.”

As Greg Rajan put it: “With Mark Sibbald's emergence in Mississippi and Tim Boron also around, it appears Beech was the odd man out.” Sibbald was burned by seven goals on 26 shots that night, courtesy of the Tulsa Oilers. Meanwhile, Beech became the first goalie in IceRays history to notch a shutout, stopping all 26 shots faced in his debut against Rio Grande Valley the following night.

“In Corpus, it was like a light switch; I got a shutout my first game and took it from there,” Beech said.

Beech went 12-7-2 with the IceRays and helped push them into the Southern Conference’s final playoff spot.

Kevin Kaminski later told me that he regretted trading Beech, considering Sibbald’s decision to leave the team and return to the SPHL. Throughout the course of the season, the RiverKings saw ten players defend the crease (three as emergency backups).

Unfortunately for Beech and the IceRays, the Brahmas took the first round of the playoffs 2-0, thereby ending their season and in the end, closing the books on the franchise as the team would fold in May.

Fortunately, there were a number of teams searching for a quality net minder and after weighing his options, Beech decided to go with the Brahmas, citing that the team’s location and history show they get a significant number of American Hockey League call-ups each season.

“Last year was more of a rehab year,” Beech said. “The injury was bad timing. Now I have to do what I did two years ago and have a shot of moving up again…I’m doing everything I can to prepare for a big season.”

Born in London, Ontario then moving to Brantford, Beech began his hockey career like any other Canadian boy on the outdoor rink and playing minor hockey.

"When I was six, I started playing hockey, but not as a goalie,” Beech said. “I played forward for a couple of years and at that age if you could skate you were going to get three to five goals a game and I was able to skate pretty good."

It wasn't until Kevin was nine years old that defending the net seemed more appealing than playing forward and taking shifts because the goalie got to play the whole game.

"When I was nine, I had to make a decision (about) what I was going to be and I liked that the goalie got to play the whole game,” Beech said. “It was the most important position. I also wanted to be like my older brother Jeff, who was a pretty good goalie growing up."

Kevin credits his family as having the biggest influence in his life with helping him and supporting his dream to play professional hockey.

"My parents, brother and sister have supported me in hockey since I was kid,” Beech added. “I wouldn't be where I am now if it wasn't for them."

Beech played for four seasons with the Sudbury Wolves and the Erie Otters in the OHL (2003-2007) and was selected by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the sixth round (#165 overall) in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. He was called up to the Springfield Falcons (AHL) for six games at the end of the 2006-07 season.

In 2007-08, he signed with the Laredo Bucks, where he won his first five starts and went 10-4-1-2 before he was traded to the Youngstown Steelhounds on January 25, 2008. He won his first start against the RiverKings on February 10th and went 4-3-0-2 to finish out the season and then went 1-1 during the post-season, where the SteelHounds were dispatched by the Colorado Eagles four games to one in the quarter-finals.

At 6’, 3” and 170 pounds, Beech offers the height the Brahmas need in net, while his slender frame allows him the mobility to move around the crease with ease. If the Brahmas confirm his signing, it’ll be good news for those who had concerns about who would be defending the net.

Beech is currently training hard on and off the ice and is busy with his second annual Kevin Beech Goalie School, being held at the Wayne Gretzky Sports Centre in Brantford, Ontario this week (August 9-13th).

He’ll report to the Brahmas training camp in late September and will work with Scott Campbell and Wayne Savage, who will apparently be competing for the backup position.

By the way, rumor has it Beech won’t be the only former IceRay in a Brahmas sweater this season…

You can read the source article here

You can visit the Beech Goalie School website here

Photo Credits: Robert Keith
Background and quotes on Beech’s early years courtesy of Andruw Bourgeois/Pro Hockey News

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Ross Rouleau signs with Kalamazoo

Former Brahmas defenseman will be a K-Wing

The Kalamazoo Wings (ECHL) have announced that former Texas Brahmas defenseman Ross Rouleau has signed with the club for the 2010-11 season.

After playing two years at Finlandia University, Rouleau joined the Brahmas after earning a training camp contract at the 2008 Making the Cut prospect camp. He saw action in 17 regular season and 15 post-season contests, helping the team win the Ray Miron President’s Cup Championship in 2009.

The 6’, 180-pound native of Hancock, Michigan had four goals and 14 assists in 60 regular season games and four assists in eight post-season games with the Brahmas last season.

“Ross plays a hard-nosed style of defense,” K-Wings head coach Nick Bootland said. “He’s not a big guy, but he’s certainly willing to get his nose dirty. He’s an up-and-coming young defenseman who possesses a heavy shot.”

The K-Wings open the season at the South Carolina Stingrays on October 16th and play their home opener against the Kelly Cup champion Cincinnati Cyclones on October 23rd.

Photo Credit: Robert Keith

Friday, August 6, 2010

Brahmas pre-season schedule announced

Cross-town rivals to meet twice

The Texas Brahmas have announced two pre-season contests with the Allen Americans in early October. The contests are scheduled for Friday, October 8th at 7:30pm at the NYTEX Sports Centre and Saturday, October 9th 7:00pm at the Allen Events Center.

Photo Credit: Robert Keith
Brahmas announce goalie tandem

Campbell, Savage to defend NYTEX net

The Texas Brahmas officially announced the signing of two goaltenders on Friday afternoon. Scott Campbell and Wayne Savage will be on the training camp roster in September vying for their place between the pipes.

Campbell is entering his second pro season after spending his rookie year with the Wichita Thunder last season. The Bloomfield, Ontario native posted a 7-23-2 record with a 3.77 GAA (23rd in the league) and a .896 save percentage (18th in the league). He earned the league's CHL Goalie of the Week for the first week of February earning three wins in three starts. He was also a nominee for the Wichita, Kansas 2010 Pro Athlete of the Year. Prior to turning pro, Campbell played four seasons at Lake Forest College (NCAA).

Savage comes to the Brahmas following two seasons at the University of Prince Edward Island (AUS) where Brahmas former Assistant Coach Forbes MacPherson now holds head coaching duties. Last season Savage posted a 12-7-0 record and a .904 save percentage for the Panthers and was named team MVP.

Photo Credit: Robert Keith

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Brahmas add rookie goaltender

Wayne Savage set to join training camp roster

According to published reports, University of Prince Edward Island (AUS) goaltender Wayne Savage has agreed to sign with the Texas Brahmas for the 2010-11 season. Savage, 23, was the Panthers’ 2009-10 team MVP, posting a record of 12-7 with a 3.23 GAA through the regular season.

He was the Panthers’ starting goaltender in the playoffs, where he went 0-2 with a 2.57 GAA in an opening-round defeat to the St. F.X. X-Men.

Savage's coach at UPEI is former Texas Brahmas assistant coach Forbes MacPherson.

The 6’, 196 pound native of St. Thomas, Ontario played three seasons with the Toronto St. Michael’s Majors (OHL) where his cumulative record was 40-60-12. He began the 2007-08 season with the Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors (OHL), but after a 1-3 start, he went to the Newmarket Hurricanes (OPJHL) where he went 12-1-1 with a 1.68 GAA and a .945 save percentage.

At the University of Prince Edward Island, Savage went 5-7-0 with a 3.70 GAA and a .896 save percentage in 2008-09. Last season, he improved to 12-7-0 with a 3.23 GAA and a .904 save percentage.

Photo Credit: UPEI

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Brahmas announce Kevin Kraus signing

Rookie defenseman coming off second national championship

You read it here on July 17th after the the Vernon Vipers (BCHL) and the Vernon Morning Star newspaper announced that defenseman Kevin Kraus would be joining the Texas Brahmas for the 2010-11 campaign. The Brahmas organization made it official on Tuesday afternoon.

The 20-year-old native of Garden Grove, California
is the fourth member of the new Brahmas defensive corps, which includes Nathan Saunders, Nick Toneys and Jim Burichin. The group (including a couple of players yet to be named) will have more size and physical prowess than last year's squad and a good mix of experience and rookie talent.

Kraus, at 6'2", 205 pounds, has all the makings of a young Kevin McLeod - remember his rookie season in 2007-08? Known throughout the BCHL for his strength, smarts, and dominant defensive play, he should develop well under Dan Wildfong's guidance.

"Kevin has a built a great reputation in his young career and upon speaking with several references, he seems like the kind of player that can succeed at this level," Wildfong said.

Kraus played 36 games with the Kamloops Blazers (WHL) in 2006-07, tallying three assists and 57 penalty minutes. The following season, he was traded to the Tri-City Americans where he notched five points (1 G, 4 A) and 27 penalty minutes before joining the Vipers for the remaining 18 games of the season, adding four assists and 17 PIM.

In 2008-09, Kraus tallied 19 points (1 G, 18 A) and 81 penalty minutes in 55 games played. This past season, he was named team captain and increased his scoring output to 27 points (5 G, 22 A) with 70 PIM in 56 games played.

In April, the Vipers won the Fred Page Cup Championship (British Columbia Hockey League Champions) following a 4-2 series win over the Powell River Kings. They went on to sweep the Grand Prairie Storm in four games to win the Doyle Cup (winner of the Best-of-7 series between the BCHL and AJHL playoff champions) and finished the post-season by winning their second consecutive RBC Cup (National Junior A championship) with an 8-1 victory over the Dauphin Kings.

Kraus spent last weekend in Vernon, B.C., working at the inaugural Sun-Valley Showcase, hosted by Vernon Viper coaches Mark Ferner and Jason Williamson. The event was designed to provide exposure for prospects to display their talent in front of junior, college and professional scouts. This week, he takes on an instructor role at the Vernon Vipers Hockey School for ages 7-15. He'll report to North Richland Hills next month for training camp.

Kraus' older brother Tim, a center, just completed his second pro season with the Ontario Reign (ECHL). I heard a rumor that Tim was coming to the Brahmas this season as well, but at this point, it's just a rumor. If you want to learn a little more about Kraus, check out the YouTube videos posted here. In addition, this is a pretty good video with highlights from the Kraus and the Vipers' championship win in April.

Photo Credit: Gordon Lee Photography